Roman Glass Perfume Bottle

£ 395.00

An elegant, ancient Roman perfume bottle in a very pale, translucent, blue colour. The vessel features a slender piriform body tapering to a pointed end with a rounded, droplet-shaped tip. There is a fine rounded rim with slight upward flaring mouth. The vessel presents a beautiful shimmering, rainbow iridescent coating on the exterior with some soil encrustations also present, especially concentrated within the mouth opening.

Date: Circa 1st-2nd century AD
Provenance: From the important collection of a professional by descent, bought London and Europe 1970-90's
Condition: Very fine condition, earthly encrustation and iridescent patination to the surface.
Product Code: RGS-72
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The Romans frequently utilised the functional and decorative capabilities of glass to produce a wide array of objects. Unguentaria, such as this example, were used as containers for ointments, powders, balms, and other expensive liquids such as perfumes: the small mouth of the bottle is ideal for slow, careful pouring, while glass was preferred for holding liquids, due to its non-porous, non-absorbent nature.

By the 1st century AD, the technique of glassblowing had revolutionised the art of glassmaking, allowing for the production of containers in delicate new forms and shapes. Glass vessels are found frequently at Hellenistic and Roman sites, especially in cemeteries, and the liquids that filled them would have been gathered from all corners of the expansive Roman Empire.

To discover more about Roman perfumes and cosmetics, please visit our relevant blog post: Roman Glass: Unguentaria and Cosmetics.

Weight 7.9 g
Dimensions W 2.60 x H 10.70 cm

Blown Glass


Southern Europe

Reference: For a similar item,The Metropolitan Museum of Art, item 74.51.49

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